So, you want to be self-employed, have a business of your own, control your time and your income? That was me twenty years ago! I set out to change my life and give up the corporate grind for those same reasons and I did just that. That journey however, came with lessons learned, bumps, bruises, setbacks, required personal growth and stretched me ways I would not have experienced otherwise and I am grateful for all of it. So, what did I learn? Well, I learned a lot.
Two simple, yet powerful concepts kept me grounded back then and twenty years later still keep me on track. I also find that some of the most simple concepts are the ones that, while the most effective, also need reminding. These concepts have served me well and my hope is that this reminder will serve you.
First, I believe to be successfully self-employed requires a commitment. Commitment, not only to the end result, which is the fun part, but commitment to the process that is the "daily grind" and sometimes, the not-so-fun part.
Have you ever looked closely at what it really means to make a commitment? Do you feel as though you have made a true commitment to your goals? Only you can answer that. Let's extrapolate "true commitment" by taking a close look at two words that are synonymous with commitment: prosecution and perseverance.
You may be thinking prosecution is an unusual word in this context, but simply put, prosecution means to follow until the end or pursue until finished and that for sure applies here. Perseverance is an obvious word choice for this subject but maybe we hear the word so often that its meaning has become dull. To persevere means to be steadfast, determined, purposeful in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. The key phrase, I believe in "re-defining" perseverance is "despite difficulty or delay". So how badly do you want to have success? Badly enough to be fully committed, willing to prosecute and able to persevere despite difficulty or delay?
The second concept has to do with the daily grind. Daily activity and daily schedules. If you're anything like me, there will always be more things on your to-do list, than can be done in a day. I think most of us today lead very busy lives with kids, spouses, careers, the list goes on... I believe we can gain more control over our life and schedule our time better if we re-position our mindset about the things that need doing, how we prioritize and set boundaries on the things we choose to do and sometimes choosing to say no.
The good news is that daily activity and scheduling isn't a skill, it's a simple discipline. If you can discipline yourself for a while, eventually your daily activities will become a way of life, a habit. We don’t need to think about daily activities like showering, feeding our families, taking care of our kids – it’s a way of life. I believe in order to be successfully self-employed, we need to develop, maintain and nurture certain good habits and make them a way of life.
In closing... The successfully-self-employed are committed, persevering, disciplined and keep it simple. If you follow these concepts, no matter what the industry, you too can have your own business, set your own schedule and be in control of your income.